Malay-style braised fish

Malay-style braised fish


15 people made this

About this recipe: Gentle braising is an excellent cooking method for fish, keeping it moist and succulent. Spiced with care and simmered in a little coconut milk, the fish here is delicious with plain noodles or rice. For a casserole with a livelier flavour, leave the seeds in the chilli or use one of the tiny, very hot Thai chillies.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 230 g
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) coconut milk
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) fish stock, bought chilled or made with a stock cube
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 1 can sliced bamboo shoots, about 220 g, drained
  • 675 g (1½ lb) thick skinless white fish fillet, such as cod, hake, haddock or hoki, cut into chunks
  • 16 raw tiger prawns, peeled
  • juice of ½ lime
  • To garnish
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the spring onions, chilli, celery and red pepper, and fry, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Stir in the garlic, fennel seeds, coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the coconut milk, stock and fish sauce or soy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bamboo shoots, white fish and prawns. Cover the pan again and simmer for 5–7 minutes or until the pieces of fish are just cooked and the prawns have turned pink. Stir in the lime juice.
  4. Serve the braised fish at once, garnished with a sprinkle of chopped spring onions and fresh coriander.

Some more ideas

For a special meal, monkfish fillet can be used instead of the fish suggested in the main recipe. It takes slightly longer to cook, so increase the time in step 3 to 12–14 minutes.

Plus points

Fennel and fennel seeds are said to aid digestion and help relieve stomach cramps. In India toasted fennel seeds are chewed to prevent bad breath. * Some studies have shown that chillies can help to reduce blood cholesterol levels. There are also reports suggesting that eating chillies can help to protect against gastric ulcers by causing the stomach lining to secrete a mucus which coats the stomach, thus protecting it from damage by irritants such as aspirin or alcohol.

Each serving provides

B12, C * iron, selenium, zinc

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Reviews (6)


Used different ingredients. I didn't use any prawns. Just used more fish, around 1 kg - 28 Jan 2009


I love thai green curry and this was a nice alternative. the recipe list seemed kind of daunting, but once you have the spices in order it's actually an easy dish ready in no time. Lovely, thanks xx - 28 Jan 2009


Very simple and tasty - 24 Jun 2014

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